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Photo Shoot with Masha Sedgwick - Off the Ground

I am mesmerized by the idea of flow.

"The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost,"

- Mihály Csíkszentmihályi

The world of post-crisis stagnation seems to have been taken over by masterclasses and courses, that are there to have you re-wire your life, and achieve the unachievable. What slips out between the lines, and is hard to grasp beyond all the marketing and "fluff" is that all of them have one primary idea in mind - choose it, own it, love it, focus on it, repeat.

We are swept up by such amounts of options, possibilities, distractions, images, and pieces of information, that the ability to become part of an idea, hold on to this idea, act upon it, and continue doing so against odds almost becomes some sort of superpower and virtue.

A takeaway from last year has probably been that:

"There is more to life than just increasing its speed."

- Mohandas Gandhi

Maybe it comes with years, maybe with experience of having tried to do so, but I catch myself more and more stopping, and forcefully pointing my own sight at objects, projects, and ideas without distraction. It became almost as a dare game, a test of will, trying to see if having fixating on one thing can help the river flow in a single bank and push the water further faster, bringing something unknowingly sought for with its flow.

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In the same way, I am mesmerized by people who focus this way in their work and daily life naturally.

Shooting with Masha Sedgwick (Astor) on a hot melting summer day in Berlin was in that very way sweeping.

Masha is among the most influential media personalities in the capital of Germany, and someone who truly sparked respect from the way she approaches her work. I reached out to Masha as I had a beautiful location to work at, and very much wanted to get a bit under the city's skin, the city that became a sort of temporary shelter for me during the lockdown times.

There was a very quick and efficient exchange between her manager and me, with all details fixed and things agree on in what felt like an almost uncomfortably easy way. Masha popped by with a tiny backpack full of gorgeous silk dresses and sat in the makeup chair. We shared a few of our stories, half in Russian, half in English with a bit of German intertwining. She showed me her outfits which somehow perfectly matched the location, even though we never really got into in-depth planning, and we went on. Masha was so full of energy and ideas, it felt like she was part of the environment - its wind. We climbed up on the rooftop, stuck out of the window, and chased each other on Babelplatz spilling champagne bubbles, and goofing around.

These pictures make me think of festivities, of life, of going on, and of hanging on.

And here's some advice from Masha which I somehow couldn't agree more with:

1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.

2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.

3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.

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